You could have the most powerful smartphone around, but that amounts to naught if it dies out on you every few hours. ET offers a few simple tips and apps and to maximise your phone’s battery.
1. Screen Brightness
Although most phones come with a light sensor that is used to automatically adjust brightness of the display, you need to manually set the brightness as low as possible to maximise battery life. The automatic setting constantly alters the brightness and that leads to higher consumption. Also, keep the screen time out as short as possible to save more battery.
2. Wireless Connectivity
Functions such as EDGE, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS are important to phone usage, but they are the biggest battery hogs as well. You can increase your battery life by switching off functions that you don’t need. Even switching from 3G to 2G (if available) will give your battery life a huge boost.
3. Push Notifications
If push notifications are turned on, your phone constantly pings various services to check for updates. Therefore, data connectivity or Wi-Fi is constantly being used to check for updates. Some devices even play a sound and display a notification on the screen. The number of different notifications you leave on will have a direct impact on the phone’s battery life.
4. Background Tasks
By default, pressing the home button does not exit apps, it just moves them to the background – this helps with quicker multitasking on a smartphone. Problem is, even background apps consume hardware resources (except on iOS where the apps are completely suspended). Use a task manager to exit apps completely and give a boost to battery life.
5. Haptic Feedback
Many touchscreen phones offer haptic feedback – a slight vibration while typing, pressing an on-screen button or in some phones, every time the screen registers a touch. Check if you can turn this feature off or control when the vibration occurs. You can also choose to turn off the vibrate notification for calls/SMS when the ringer is on.
Apps to Enhance Battery Life
BB: Battery Saver Pro
Provides a clean graphical user interface with features to monitor processes, optimise usage for display/wireless connections, set alerts for low battery and can show a battery usage graph.
iOS: Battery Life Pro
This app has a beautiful user interface and shows you system info & graphs for memory usage. It also gives you one-touch access to switch on/off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G & push notifications.
Windows Phone: BatterySaver
BatterySaver lets you pin live tiles on your home screen to quickly toggle between various battery consuming functions such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth & GPS.
This app offers balanced, aggressive or extreme battery saving presets. Select one and it automatically manages phone features to improve battery life. You can even customise individual options to create a preset of your own.
Accessories for power users
Cases like Mophie’s Juice Pack (Rs 3,000 onwards) have a builtin battery – the case connects with the charging port on the phone and keeps the internal battery topped up.
These handy gadgets usually come with different charger pins and are priced at Rs 3,000 onwards. Most of them are good enough to provide two full charges to a phone.
Manufacturers provide replacement batteries – either the same or larger capacity than the original. Get a spare battery and keep it charged as a reserve.
iPhone Specific Tips
Some apps use location services to deliver relevant content and services. This could be via GPS, Wi-Fi or cell tower location – either way, battery life is adversely affected. Go to Settings and disable location for apps that don’t need it.
The iPhone 4S’s voice assistant Siri comes on when you raise the phone to your ear. Switch off this ‘raise-tospeak’ function from the Settings – it keeps the phone’s proximity sensor in an always on state – thus consuming more battery.
Go to Settings > Location Services > System Services. Here, switch off location based iAds, diagnostics & usage, traffic and automatic time zone update. All these functions use GPS/Wi-Fi/network location which are battery hogs.
Android Specific Tips
Check Battery Usage
Go to Settings > Applications, tap on Battery Use and find out what is consuming the most battery on your device. You can then close or uninstall the apps that you don’t use too often and figure out how to better utilise battery life.
Android has always offered live wallpaper as well as various third-party animated widgets. There’s no denying that some effects make the phone look pretty, but they also make the processor work overtime which drains the battery.
Android location settings use wireless networks or GPS satellites (or both) to detect your position. If you do not want pinpoint accuracy, head to Settings > Location & Security. Switch off ‘Use GPS Satellites’, ‘Assisted GPS’ and ‘Sensor Aiding’.